Sep
26
2010
FedEx Cup Tape-Delayed Final Round Open Rant (Update)
By Stephanie Wei under FedEx Cup

Due to forecasted inclement weather on Sunday, the final round of the Tour Championship will begin at 9am instead of 11:30am. It’s just a little rain and it’s supposed to be the same all day, so I’m not sure why it was necessary to move the tee times up two-and-a-half hours. But the actual issue is that now the final round will be tape delayed on NBC. Yeah, this event that’s been force fed to fans since the first round of Kapalua in January won’t be shown live.

The exciting race to the finish line is here and the Tour decides to push the tee times up because of a little rain? Okay, now I understand that it’s erring on the side of caution considering when the weather gets nasty in the South, it’s nasty. And given that most of the media has to file their stories on the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup before they head to the airport, I guess it’s an altruistic (and rare) move on the part of the Ponte Vedra suits.

Lucky for me, I’m at the tournament and I get to witness all the exciting action live. But for the fans at home, it sucks — and it pretty much validates that the FedEx Cup is a joke. I mean, would this happen during a major? No way. It completely takes away from the oh-so-thrilling excitement on the back nine of a couple guys vying for the $10 million when you already know what happens before you watch it on TV (unless you have self-restraint and you don’t check online).

So, my question is, will you watch the tape-delayed action? And if so, will you look at the results online beforehand? More important, were you planning on watching golf instead of football, anyway? Does anyone even care? Perhaps it’s not such a big deal considering the few die-hard fans that would have tuned in.

*Update: Because of the two-hour rain delay, NBC’s coverage of the Tour Championship was aired live from 3-6EST. Turns out it didn’t matter much since it still received a rating of 1.3, down 61% from last year. (In other words, the weather forced the circumstance, but the intention was to air it on tape, two hours behind.)

Here’s an explanation via email from Ty Votaw, Executive Vice President of the Tour:

Since our decision ultimately resulted in a live finish that came down to the last putt within the live telecast window, I look forward to reading your retraction praising the competition with equal interest.

I would point out that unlike other decisions to air live sports coverage on tape delay to take advantage of time zones or to please broadcast partners, this decision was made solely in order to work around the weather and try to ensure a finish on time, which we did.

[Photo by Kyle Auclair/insidetheropes.com]